Vendor Spotlight – All Around Raleigh DJ

A few weeks ago, I let my intern write a vendor spotlight post about The Chocolate Boutique. I have been meaning to write more of these types of blog posts, so this week here’s one from me! I have been working in this industry long enough to have worked with some really excellent vendors. Here’s a post about one of the best DJ vendors in Raleigh, or at least he’s one of my favorites.

All Around Raleigh DJ; Eric Hodgedenallaroundraleighdj-logo

I met Eric, the owner of All Around Raleigh DJ, at the Market Hall Spring Showcase. I arrived fairly early, while it was still mostly just vendors and Market Hall employees in attendance. Being punctual, as I always am, benefited me yet again. This time I benefited because I was able to walk around and introduce myself to a few local vendors I have never met. (Another benefit to being early, I was able to get a glass of wine without waiting in line. )

Eric was one of the first vendors I met that night, and he left a great impression on me. We ended up meeting for coffee at a later date and time, where I learned a little more about him and why he got into the events industry.  I really enjoyed his take on why he decided to be a DJ and I hope you do too!

Background Information

Joe Payne Photography

Joe Payne Photography

Eric stumbled on his love of being a DJ like many others do. He went to school and got a degree in Engineering and made the realization that his heart was somewhere else. During the same year Eric enrolled at NC State, he also formed his company All Around Raleigh DJ. When I asked him about his first event as a DJ, he said “I had a typical 19 year old guy’s stereo with huge ridiculous speakers“. This made me really chuckle because, we’ve all known people like that. The first event he worked was for a friend’s Mother. Her DJ had backed out last minute, leaving her with little time to find a replacement. Eric offered his services and quickly realized that he was pretty good and had a blast doing it. After that, Eric bought some professional DJ equipment and began working weddings and events as often as possible. He was eventually able to leave his full-time cubicle job to run All Around Raleigh DJ in 2011. Of course, he also told me it’s the most rewarding job he’s ever had.

 

Q&A

I asked Eric a few other questions and here are his responses:

What advice would you offer to couples looking for a DJ?:

“Whoever you hire must be someone you can trust – and someone you feel a connection with, they will be a guest at the wedding so they should fit what you have in mind.”  “You should also trust them to be organized and take care of things.”

How far out from the wedding should couples hire a DJ?:

In general terms somewhere between 4-8 months before the wedding. For popular months at least one year in advance. August tends to be more flexible. But, if you want a specific person, you should book at least one year prior.”

What is the coolest event you have ever worked?

“Very personalized events, people who incorporate their personalities into their events make them the most memorable. In particular one Wedding I worked at Shady Wagon Farm – barely had any dancing. This wedding’s bride was not able to stand for long periods of time, but she danced for at least one song. It was memorable because the people were really awesome.” There was a little less dancing then Eric was used to, but even still this wedding was not lacking in fun. There were a bunch of lawn games for the guests to enjoy, and Eric entertained the guests by playing the shoe game, and hosting table trivia for dinner. “The best part of the night was when the groom surprised his bride by singing to her during the reception while she sat on the dance floor.” 

caroline-lima-photog

Caroline Lima Photography

Would you like to pass on your business to your children?

This question was clearly something Eric had not been asked before, but something I personally consider all the time. I of course want to pass on a legacy to my children, but I don’t know how frequently other people also have that desire and if so, how much thought they have really put into it. Eric’s response was “I only have a daughter and female DJs are definitely more rare, but if that was something she wanted to do then heck yes!”

Do you see yourself running the DJ business until you retire?

“Yes absolutely, in some form or fashion. I can’t see a reason to get stuck in a rut and stop, and there’s really nothing else I enjoy doing as much.”

I am very grateful Eric had time to grab coffee with me. I really enjoyed sharing fun industry stories, and getting to know him better. It’s not often that you get to hear about the vendor and their personal life.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Eric and hearing about how he formed his company!! If you are in need of a DJ for your next wedding or event, consider reaching out to him for a quote, you won’t be disappointed. And, if you need more evidence of that, check out his reviews on Wedding Wire.

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